Sigi Leonhard, Professor of German
Professor Sigi Leonhard was born in Fürth, Germany, and grew up in the Rhineland. She studied at the University of Bonn, Germany, at the University of Nantes, France, and at Stanford University, California, where she earned her M.A. and her Ph.D. Her areas of special interest include the Age of Goethe, Contemporary German Women Writers, German Film, and Cross-Cultural Studies. She has published articles on Goethe, contemporary literature and film, as well as poetry in several anthologies. Her novel Stimmen (“Voices”) was published in Germany in 2009.
Berlin is one of the most fascinating places in Europe, both for its history and for its status as a cultural metropolis. Like no other German city, it bears the scars of recent German history and carries the hopes and promises of a united Germany. With its important role in the Weimar Republic, its sites of political decisions and destruction during the last World War, and the fact that for over forty years it served as the symbol for Germany’s division, Berlin is an excellent place for anyone who wants to become familiar with German and European history. The current European economic crisis is once more driving home the fact that Germany continues to be at the forefront of European politics and economics.
As a consequence of Berlin’s symbolic function during the post-war era, government subsidies made possible a rich intellectual and artistic culture, which unification has intensified. Thus, the city impresses the visitor with dozens of theaters, a number of major orchestras, three opera houses, and countless internationally renowned museums. An excellent transportation system facilitates an acquaintance with Berlin’s cultural and intellectual riches. The many public parks and waterways increase the attraction of Berlin for those who like the outdoors. Its location at the heart of Europe makes Berlin an excellent and convenient base for exploring other European cities and regions.